Introduction

Utah’s economy is extremely diverse, encompassing industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, mining, petroleum production, finance, and tourism. The state is also home to a booming information technology industry that has helped fuel economic growth. Utah’s accommodating tax structure, affordable real estate, and educated population have all contributed to its strong economy and business climate: a 2016 CNBC ranking deems Utah the country’s “Top State for Business.” Unsurprisingly, the state’s strong economy has created a massive demand for CPAs and other finance professionals, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects jobs for accountants and auditors in Utah to grow 32.7% through 2026—more than any other U.S. state. Utah’s more than 41,000 accountants have plenty of options, including offices for each of the “Big Four” finance firms along with major regional firms like Tanner, Squire & Co., and Haynie & Co.

Utah at a glance

Population 3,101,833
Per Capita Income $24,877
Unemployment Rate 3.2%
Fortune 500 Companies 1
Licensed CPA Firms 512

Accounting Programs in Utah

Search our comprehensive school directory to explore the accounting programs in Utah, including campus-based, online and hybrid programs.

Accounting Salaries and Employment

Thanks rapid economic growth, the number of positions available to accountants and auditors in Utah is expected to climb an impressive 28.4% between 2012-2022. This rate is more than twice the 13.1% growth rate predicted nationwide. The average yearly salary for accountants and auditors in this state is $68,780, somewhat below the $73,670 average reported nationally. Still, accountants out-earn the average salary of workers statewide by more than $25,000 per year.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

9,770 Employees2012
15,960 Employees2022
Utah 38.8% increase
1,397,700 Employees2012
1,537,600 Employees2022
United States 9.1% increase
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics OES - State Employment Survey

Accounting Salaries by Specialty

Utah Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

\ $38,870
$41,110

Payroll Clerks

\ $44,600
$44,950

Credit Counselors

\ $38,390
$49,460

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

\ $65,610
$68,420

Tax Examiners and Collectors

\ $50,510
$59,140

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

\ $70,640
$77,920

Budget Analysts

\ $74,080
$77,170

Personal Financial Advisors

\ $95,980
$109,949

Financial Managers

\ $112,080
$143,530
Source: BLS OES - Industry Profile

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Eastern Utah nonmetropolitan area
    $74,380
  2. Salt Lake City
    $73,490
  3. Ogden-Clearfield
    $69,770
  4. Wasatch Back nonmetropolitan area
    $69,120
  5. Provo-Orem
    $67,960
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics OES - State Employment Survey

Major firms headquartered in Utah

Count Firm Location 2014 Revenue (in millions)
1TannerSalt Lake City, UT$17
2Squire & Co.Orem, UT$15
3Haynie & Co.Salt Lake City, UT$10
4HintonBurdickSt. George, UT$10
5Mantyla McReynoldsSalt Lake City, UT$8

Accounting Today named these firms among the highest performing in a multi-state region. Rankings as based upon reported net revenues from 2014. Source: Accounting Today, "Top 100 Firms and Regional Leaders"

Becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) in Utah

To earn licensure in Utah, candidates must pass the Uniform CPA Exam which is administered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). They must also meet the following requirements:

  • Complete 150 credit hours of post secondary education
  • 24 credit hours of upper level accounting courses
  • 15 credit hours of graduate level accounting courses
  • A bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university

Utah offers a pre-evaluation service through the NASBA to assist candidates in identifying academic shortcomings before an application is submitted.

Utah participates in CPA mobility which enables CPAs with active licenses in other states to transfer their license to Utah.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Utah

Unlike many states, candidates for licensure as CPAs in Utah must be legal permanent residents of the United States with a valid social security number. Additional requirements fall mostly in line with NASBA’s guidelines.

Applicants who do not successfully complete all four sections of the CPA exam in the first sitting may apply for re-examination of one or more sections within 18 months of the date of their initial attempt. Incomplete sections of the exam may be taken one at a time or in combination. Registration fees for retakes are based on the number of sections to be retaken:

  • 1 section: $65
  • 2 sections: $80
  • 3 sections: $95
  • 4 sections: $110
Age RequirementN/A
Citizenship RequirementNo
Residency RequirementNo
Social Security # RequirementYes
Education Requirement for LicensureBachelor's degree (150 hours)
Participates in International ProgramsYes
Hours in Accounting24 semester hours
Exam Sitting Requirements150 hours
Experience Requirements1 year of accounting experience
Ethics ExamAICPA Ethics Exam

The rules and regulations that govern CPA licensing in Utah are administered by the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. Regulations regarding licensing of CPAs are contained in the Certified Public Accounting Licensing Act.

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in Utah

Total:$977
  • Application Fee $145
  • Auditing & Attestation $208
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting $208
  • Regulation $208
  • Business Environment & Concepts $208

Certifying and Professional Organizations

The Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing Board of Accountancy is responsible for the licensure, regulation and maintenance of professional standards for all certified accountants in the state.

The Utah Association of Certified Public Accountants serves as a professional membership organization for CPAs and provides members support through continuing education opportunities, leadership development and professional advocacy.

Utah Board of Accountancy

Address

160 East 300 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Phone Number

(801) 530-6628

Utah Society of CPAs

Address

1240 E. 2100 South, Suite 500
Salt Lake City, UT 84106

Phone Number

(801) 466-6206